Transfer Portal Impact: Grading the Pac-12
The addition of the transfer portal to college football has been one of the biggest developments in recent years, as players now have more information than ever when it comes to seeking a new school to attend. Instead of getting permission from their current schools in order to transfer, and in many cases being blocked from certain schools, players now have the ability to transfer to another school freely.
Pretty much every team in college football has been touched by the portal in one way or another, whether it’s players coming or going, and it’s only likely to continue once depth charts shake out after spring football. Last week, we went through every name that has been publicly tied to the portal (the actual portal database isn’t public) and the school they are transferring to or from to find the 10 Power Five programs most impacted by the portal since its introduction in October.
This week, we are grading each Power Five conference based on the impact of the transfers gained or lost by each programs. Today we examine the Pac-12.
Note: Because the transfer portal isn't publicly available, all players listed are from media reports.
Grade: C -- The Wildcats get a pass here because even though they are losing several players, none were expected to have much of an impact besides adding depth in 2019. While the Wildcats haven't added any players via the portal yet, it wouldn't be shocking to see a few join the school after spring practice depth charts are released.
Grade: C- -- There are a lot of names on this list and much like their in-state rivals, it's not surprising to see players leaving after the first year under a new coach. Unlike Arizona though, several of the Sun Devils defectors are headed to other Power Five programs, which shows that they could have likely had some impact in 2019 had they stayed.
Currently in the Portal: QB Ross Bowers
Grade: C+ -- The Bears are likely losing a one-time starter in Bowers, but he wasn't likely to factor into the school's plans going forward anyway. Humphries will have at least three years of eligibility remaining and was a coveted high school recruit, so he's a nice addition.
Currently in the Portal: None
Grade: B -- The Buffaloes have done a nice job filling positions of need with three different Power Five transfers. All three players are expected to fill roles in 2019 and with the school not losing any players so far, the portal has been pretty good to CU.
Additions: WR Juwan Johnson (Penn State),
Grade: C+ -- The Ducks are losing some depth in Capra, who saw plenty of action during his time in Eugene. Burmeister also made a few starts for the Ducks over the past two seasons, but never lived up to his four-star promise. Oregon fans will hope Johnson can do what Hines couldn't last year, come in as a grad transfer wide receiver and make a major impact.
Subtractions: QB Conor Blount (Eastern Kentucky)
Grade: A -- The Beavers are in need of talent and have hit the transfer market hard to add some big names, including several players from Nebraska. Gebbia is a former four-star who would have likely seen action for the Huskers last fall, had he not elected to leave school at the conclusion of fall camp. Eldridge is a proven Pac-12 performer, while Gumbs and Lindsay are former elite recruits still looking to live up to their high school potential.
Subtractions: OL Brian Chaffin (Rice)
Currently in the Portal: None
Grade: INC -- Not surprisingly, Stanford hasn't seen much impact from the portal this year. Chaffin was unlikely to be much of a contributor in 2019.
Currently in the portal: RB Brandon Stephens, WR Damian Alloway, WR Stephen Johnson, TE Jimmy Jaggers, WR Audi Omotosho, OL Josh Wariboko, OL Justin Murphy, LB Rahyme Johnson, DB Collin Samuel, DB Octavius Spencer, P Austin Kent
Grade: D -- As evidenced by the Bruins' struggles and lack of scholarship players in 2018, more talent is needed on the roster going forward. So losing multiple players to Power Five schools and having another large group likely headed elsewhere isn't great for the Bruins. Chip Kelly is remaking his roster, but given a slower approach in recruiting, replacing this many players will be tough.
Players who entered the portal but returned to team: DB Greg Johnson
Grade: C- -- The Trojans are set to see several former talented recruits head elsewhere this offseason without bringing in any transfers of their own to replace them. Most of the players currently in the portal didn't exactly live up to their high school billing, so it remains to be seen just how big of a blow to the school it will be. Nevertheless, losing players that are likely to be contributors elsewhere isn't ideal.
Currently in the Portal: OL Jake Grant
Grade: B -- The Utes have been active on the transfer front this offseason, trading one former four-star quarterback in Tuttle for another one in Rising. While Utes fans will have to wait to see Rising until 2020, former Penn State linebacker Bowen should step in and have an immediate impact in 2019.
Subtractions: LB Amandre Williams (Montana State)
Currently in the Portal: DE Jarryn Bush
Grade: INC -- After reeling in a five-star transfer last year in Jacob Eason, the Huskies have sat out the transfer portal so far this year.
Additions: QB Gabe Gubrud
Grade: B -- The Cougars are once again tapping into the transfer market to find a quarterback, with Gubrud transferring up from FCS program Eastern Washington. If he can even come close to the success of Gardner Minshew last year, this will be a major win for Wazzu. As far as the players in the portal and likely on their way out, none were expected to be a major factor in 2019.